By The Telegram

Junior Hannah Mehl headlines the list of returners for the Wichita County Lady Indians.

The 5-foot-8 forward, who averaged 18.5 points and 11 rebounds a game as a sophomore, was a second-team All-Area pick by The Telegram and was named honorable mention all-state by The Hutchinson News. In addition, she was a unanimous selection to the Hi-Plains all-league team.

"It should be fun with Hannah taking on more of a leadership role for us," Wichita County coach Jason Wells said. "We're going to be weak at the 1-2 position, but as we mature through the year I think we will get better."

Wells looks for key contributions from 5-7 junior Lindsey Estes, 5-6 junior Rachel Busch and 5-7 senior forward Lauren Wedel. In addition, 5-8 junior Kayla Graff is expected to provide front court support for Mehl.

Lindsey Schumacher, a 5-5 sophomore guard, was expected to crack the starting lineup but she will be sidelined until early January due to an ankle injury sustained in preseason workouts. Wells' daughter, Paige, who was state runner-up in Class 2A cross country in October, will also see playing time as a freshman.

"We are small in size but we will give 100 percent," Wells said. "We like to push the ball up the court fast and play pressure defense. If the season goes well, I hope to make a late run and get deep into the sub-state."

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Wichita County Lady Indians

Class: 2A

League: Hi-Plains

2008-2009 Record: 7-15

Coach: Jason Wells (2nd year)

Returning Starters: Hannah Mehl (5-8,Jr., F).

Returning Letter winners: Lindsey Estes (5-7, Jr., G); Rachel Busch (5-6, Jr., G); Lauren Wedel (5-7, Sr., F); Kayla Graff (5-8, Jr., F).

Top Newcomers: Lindsey Schumacher (5-5, So., G); Paige Wells (5-10, Fr., F).